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Before Christmas: The Story of Jesus from…
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Before Christmas: The Story of Jesus from the Beginning of Time to the… (edition 2019)

by Bill Crowder (Author)

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552,154,340 (4.4)None
Member:fcplcataloger
Title:Before Christmas: The Story of Jesus from the Beginning of Time to the Manger
Authors:Bill Crowder (Author)
Info:Discovery House (2019), 152 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Before Christmas: The Story of Jesus from the Beginning of Time to the Manger by Bill Crowder

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Before Christmas is recommended as a Christmas/ Advent study by Bill Crowder. It focuses not just on Christmas , but on Christ throughout the Bible including how old testament scripture foretold his coming . I would not recommend this book as a family devotional for families with younger children. If you love research/ history this would be a good book for you. I appreciate how Crowder included Biblical references and how explained the hymns that he used in the chapters. Although the study is presented as an Advent study I think that it could be enjoyed anything of the year.

I received a complimentary copy for this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  DonnaC83 | Nov 12, 2019 |
What I find most interesting about Bill Crowder’s “Before Christmas” is the interspersing of insights regarding God and the Christmas story. Rather than concentrating solely on the story of Jesus’ birth, Crowder expands the focus to encompass the backstory as well, mirroring how Jesus’ life on earth is recounted in the Gospels but is nevertheless the mainstay of the entire Bible, both the Old and New Testament. As Crowder explains in his introduction, “That is why the Christmas backstory is so important. It adds eternal value to the coming of Jesus by unveiling His truest identity.” Speaking for myself, I have to admit that too often the account of Jesus’ birth becomes rote. That is what I consider to be the value of this short but thought-provoking book.

Using the nested story technique characterized in the Bible, Crowder demonstrates how the Christmas story is one of many concentric rings of God’s story from before creation. The more I learn how interconnected every Biblical event is, the more awestruck I become at our Creator. Fresh appreciation and understanding dawns. For instance, although God knew even before creating the first man and woman that they would rebel and cause the Fall, He still chose to give us free will because only then could we be made in His image. And his foreknowledge also means that He knew that Jesus, God in the flesh, would have to die on the cross to make us right with Him again. He loves us that much! And, Crowder asserts, “that redemptive mission would also be the perfect expression of the mutual love between the Father and the Son.” Furthermore, Jesus’ deity is established immediately by the angel Gabriel when he tells Mary that Jesus will be “the Son of the Most High” because in the Jewish tradition, a son took on the qualities of his father. Even though as Christians we know that Jesus was, is, and always will be God, learning how each and every part of the Bible reinforces itself as God’s Word is incredibly affirming and fascinating.

While this is a small, short book, “Before Christmas” should be savored. Each chapter contains concise information taken from Scripture, with a deeper look into the cultural and personal implications thereof. While this is obviously a read well-suited for the Advent season, it can just as easily be explored at any time. Crowder writes in an easily understood manner, using lists to highlight his points and to make this a quick and straightforward reference for anyone looking to dig deeper into Jesus’ story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  Stardust_Fiddle | Nov 10, 2019 |
With just 89 pages, this certainly isn't a long book but it is overflowing with the 'good news' of Christmas! New believers and mature Christians alike will find it to be both inspiring and illuminating because it reminds us that the actual birth of Jesus Christ is just part of the story. There was so much that happened "Before Christmas" that we need to better understand. Author Bill Crowder uses Bible scripture from both the Old and New Testament and the lyrics of Christmas hymns to justify his thoughts and to lead us to better understanding. Long before he came to earth as a baby, Jesus Christ has always been!

In the acknowledgements of Before Christmas Crowder tells us that this book's 'real reason and purpose is Jesus the Christ. His coming at Bethlehem to be our Redeemer is the still the best story of all.' In six chapters we learn His Character as God--His Relationship with the Father-- His Preparation for the Cross-- His Role as Creator-- His Appearances in the Old Testament--His Announced Arrival and then, in the conclusion, The Christmas Story.

I recommend it to read, study, and use as a devotional because Before Christmas is perfect for both the Advent Season and for the weeks leading up to Easter.

I received a complimentary copy from Celebrate Lit and a favorable review was not required. These are my own thoughts. ( )
  fcplcataloger | Nov 8, 2019 |
I love the story of Mary, Joseph, and the birth of Jesus, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read this book. Any book that encourages me to think more deeply about the life of Jesus is one I feel is worth reading. This book examines Jesus, the Son of God, from the beginning of time to the first Advent. Along with Scripture references and more, the author examines all that happened prior to Jesus being born in the Manger.

I think because of my husband, an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher along with other preachers I have listened to, referencing passages from the Old Testament that reference Jesus before He came to the Earth in human form, I find this book interesting.

So check it out for yourself. ( )
  PattiP1992 | Nov 4, 2019 |
The book was not exactly what I was expecting. I guess I thought the author was going to talk specifically about Christ's birth and the importance of what Christmas was really about. He does do that later in the book, but he lays the foundation of what was to come. I was intrigues that the author took us on a journey explaining how Jesus impacted many lives. He explains the relationship between God and Jesus in a way that was easy to understand.

I liked the chapter about Jesus' path to the cross. Everything he had done up to that point was to prepare Him and the people for His destiny. I remember watching a movie several years ago where Jesus was put on the cross. It was graphic and I cried as I saw Him suffer for us. Jesus, without hesitation took His place on the cross to save us. I get chills just thinking about that.

The part in the book where the author talks about the birth of Christ was very eye opening. It still amazes me that a young girl was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Can you imagine being told that you were going to be the mother of Jesus? It was destiny that brought Mary to this place in her life. We mustn't overlook the importance that Joseph had in this upcoming birth. The woman he loved was pregnant and instead of walking away, God chose Him to be the father of Jesus. Joseph would go on to teach his son many things but he never forgot that God trusted him with the greatest gift to the world.

As the book concludes the author takes us to the birth of Christ. I liked how he said "it was an eternity in the making." The author gives us a look back at Jesus as he prepares us for the birth of Christ. This year as the holiday draws near, I reflect on what is most important . A child was born to save us and give us life for eternity.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Nov 4, 2019 |
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